The John Report: AEW Dynamite 03/01/23 Review
This week’s AEW Dynamite featured a Ladder Match, a Casino Tag Team Royale, MJF-Bryan Danielson in the main event and a whole lot more.
AEW Revolution is on pay-per-view this coming Sunday, March 5th, so this is the last Dynamite episode before that. Rampage on Friday is live this week as well with Dynamite and Rampage both at the legendary Cow Palace in San Francisco while Revolution is at the Chase Center, which is also in San Francisco. For information on how to watch AEW Revolution on pay-per-view, check out AEW’s website about PPV viewing options.
I won’t see AEW Revolution live because I’ll be at a WWE live event about an hour from home on Sunday night. I’ll do the AEW Revolution review on Monday morning.
This was AEW Dynamite episode #178 at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, California. Check out the AEW PPV listing archive only on TJRWrestling as well. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.
It’s Wednesday night and you know what that means. Excalibur was on commentary with Tony Schiavone and Taz as usual.
Orange Cassidy got a big ovation for his All-Atlantic Championship event as the announcers talked about the historic Cow Palace. Big Bill was the opponent with Stokely Hathaway as his manager. Hathaway has a fake cast on his left hand.
All-Atlantic Championship: Orange Cassidy vs. Big Bill (w/Stokely Hathaway)
It’s the second straight week with Orange defending his title in the opening match. The first minute of the match saw Orange running away from Bill repeatedly to piss him off, then Orange took Hathaway’s glasses and back in the ring, the action finally started. Orange tried a DDT that he likes to do, but Bill caught him with a sidewalk slam. Bill sent Orange into the turnbuckle, then Orange went to the apron on the other side and Bill kicked Orange off the apron to the floor. Bill and Hathaway moved the ringside table in the aisle by the apron. Orange fought off a slam attempt, but Bill hit him with an uppercut. Bill spiked Orange with a Chokeslam through the table at ringside. It is not a DQ because AEW allows random table breaking like that for some reason. In my opinion, you shouldn’t even book a table-breaking spot in a match that is supposed to have disqualifications. They went to a picture-in-picture break.
Bill gave Orange a delayed vertical suplex. Danhausen was at ringside to support Orange because I guess he was bored in catering doing nothing. Bill applied the Full Nelson, then he let go without Orange breaking it and Orange ducked a big kick by Big Bill. Danhausen tried doing his curse bit, Bill almost Chokeslammed and Hathaway hit Danhausen with the cast instead. Orange hit a suicide dive on Bill and Hathaway. Orange tried it again, Bill caught him, Orange punched him and Orange hit a punch to the knee. Orange dropkicked Bill into the steel steps. Bill was back in the ring, Orange hit the Stundog Millionaire and Orange hit a DDT. Orange hit the Orange Punch to the face, then another Orange Punch and Orange jumped off the top with another Orange Punch for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Orange Cassidy
Analysis: *** The match was solid with a lot of stalling early on before they finally got going. Big Bill really doesn’t get booked very well by AEW, yet we’re supposed to think he had a shot of beating the guy that AEW pushes very strongly all the time. I don’t think the table spot was necessary. Anyway, Bill got plenty of offense and hit some big moves, but Orange found a way to come back as usual. The final Orange Punch leaping off the turnbuckle did look impressive after wearing down Bill before that.
They replayed last week’s Dynamite with Excalibur calling the Jon Moxley-Excalibur match “incredible” although I wouldn’t call it that.
They showed a promo from a bloody Jon Moxley in a stairwell saying the blood tastes like victory and life. Moxley said he does this because he likes it while saying it is not something to be proud of or aspire to, but he lives for this shit. Moxley yelled about how he tried to leave Hangman alone. Moxley yelled about how Hangman got praised for giving Moxley a (storyline) concussion while Moxley didn’t get praised for it. Moxley said that Hangman is a great wrestler and a great man, but he is not the same animal as Mox. Jon said there is only room for one animal like him in this ecosystem and he will die to protect what is his. Moxley shouted “Texas Death” about their Texas Death Match at Revolution.
Analysis: A great promo from Moxley, but it was scary to see how much blood was pouring out of his head. Moxley will probably bleed within the first three minutes of the match against Hangman at Revolution.
The Elite trio made their entrance as the Trios Tag Team Champions, but then the lights went out. The lights came on and House of Black was there. The lights went back off again. When the lights were partially back up, House of Black were standing with their Trios Tag Team Titles. It’s The Elite vs. House of Black at Revolution on Sunday.
Analysis: There’s not much of a storyline here. A little more effort would be nice.
Samoa Joe entered with the TNT and ROH TV Titles. Joe joined commentary for the next match.
Face of the Revolution Ladder Match: Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Action Andretti vs. AR Fox vs. Eddie Kingston vs. Ortiz vs. Sammy Guevara vs. Komander vs. Konosuke Takeshita
They didn’t show any entrances except the end of Sammy’s entrance. The winner gets a TNT match next Wednesday on Dynamite. There’s a gold ring above the ring. Whoever gets a ladder to bring the ring down will win the match.
Kingston and Ortiz were fighting in the aisle. Hobbs was cheered a lot after knocking down Komander because Hobbs was the hometown guy. Hobbs tossed Fox onto a ladder that was against the turnbuckle. Hobbs slammed Action into the ladder against the turnbuckle. Sammy backed away from fighting Hobbs. Takeshita did a double clothesline with Hobbs three times in a row and then Takeshita sent Hobbs onto a ladder against the turnbuckle. Takeshita hit a German Suplex on Hobbs while Don Callis was watching Takeshita in the match. Sammy kicked Takeshita out of the ring, Action kicked Sammy out of the ring and Action hit a twisting dive over the top onto Sammy on the floor. Fox jumped off the top with a senton onto two guys on the floor. Komander ran across the ring ropes and jumped off the top rope with a moonsault onto a bunch of guys on the floor. That was an incredible move. Poor Hobbs had to sell the move even though he wasn’t touched by it. They went to a PIP break.
Hobbs tried to suplex Komander onto a ladder bridge, but Fox hit Hobbs with a chair to the back. That was a mistake since Hobbs slammed Fox onto the ladder bridge. Hobbs and Takeshita did a double clothesline on the floor to knock eachother down. Sammy did a very slow climb up the ladder because Action had to climb across a ladder bridge to go after Sammy. Action gave Sammy a Falcon Arrow off the ladder, but it looked like Action hurt himself more by crotching himself on a ladder bridge. That looked dumb and like Action hurt himself more. Komander climbed the ladder, Takeshita went after him and hit a Blue Thunder Bomb off the ladder. Two referees had to hold the ladder for the spot, which makes it look ridiculous even though it’s a good move. Daniel Garcia, who is not in the match, shoved Andretti and Takeshita off a ladder. Garcia hit a uranage slam on Action as well. Sammy and Garcia set up Action on a ladder bridge. Sammy went to the top of a huge ladder and fell down with a senton bomb putting Action through a ladder that split in half. Ouch. Garcia set up the ladder and helped Sammy climb up, but Takeshita shoved them down. Takeshita sent Garcia out of the ring and Takeshita crushed Sammy with a knee. Hobbs ran over the ladder to knock Takeshita down. Hobbs climbed the ladder (while three referees held the ladder) to retrieve the brass ring to win the match after 14 minutes. The fans cheered since Hobbs is from the Bay Area.
Winner: Powerhouse Hobbs
Analysis: ***3/4 That was pretty wild as a ladder match. Hobbs went from barely being on TV for the last five months to winning ladder match for a shot at the TNT Title. It’s fine with me, but I don’t understand why they barely used the guy. I think it’s silly to have the referees assist the wrestlers doing some of the high spots in the match. Kingston and Ortiz fighting to the back without even trying to win the match made them both look stupid in the sense that they didn’t even care about winning. Komander hit some incredible moves although he didn’t do much other than doing those moves. There was a lot of “hit a move and roll to the floor” throughout this match. Sammy did well as a cheap heel getting help from Garcia to nearly win. That Garcia ladder spot with Andretti was impressive as well. Takeshita and Hobbs came across as the biggest stars of the match. I hate seeing referees holding a ladder. The referees should not help wrestlers do moves. Get a ladder that works better if you want to climb instead of relying on referees to help. It just looks bad.
After the match, Powerhouse Hobbs went onto the stage with a brass ring in his hands. Joe stood up for a staredown, then Wardlow appeared and the three of them had a staredown. Joe ran away to the back while Wardlow beat up security guys.
Renee Paquette was shown backstage for an interview. They said that Trent and Chuck were not medically cleared to compete in the battle royal tonight. Danhausen said him and Orange Cassidy (who was getting checked on by the trainer) are cleared to be in it. Orange was asked if he was ready to compete and Orange said he didn’t care (if he was cleared).
Chris Jericho made his entrance leading to a break, so we didn’t get the see the full crowd sing-along with the Judas song.
Chris Jericho vs. Peter Avalon
I don’t remember the last time Avalon had a Dynamite match. Jericho hit him with a Judas Effect elbow last week, so we get this match this week. Avalon with punches, Jericho to the floor and Avalon hit a suicide dive. Avalon sent Jericho into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Avalon hit a pump kick to the face for two. Avalon hit a springboard cross body block for two. Avalon jumped off the ropes with a DDT for two. Jericho hit a Codebreaker and that was enough for the pinfall win after three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Chris Jericho
Analysis: ** The match was all Avalon early until Jericho hit one move to beat him. Simple enough.
Post match, Jericho hit Avalon with the bat to the head followed by a few bat shots to the body. Ricky Starks made the save. Jericho said that he’s going to beat Starks one on one because the Jericho Appreciation Society is banned from ringside, but it doesn’t mean they are banned tonight. Jake Hager and Daniel Garcia attacked Starks with Jericho joining in. Hager gave Starks a powerslam. Garcia hit a uranage slam on Starks. Jericho hit the Judas Effect elbow to Ricky’s head. Nobody tried to help Starks. Jericho’s music played to end it while two referees tried to get the Jericho Appreciation Society to leave.
Analysis: A classic heel beatdown to get some heat on Jericho going into the match against Starks at Revolution. I think Starks should beat Jericho at Revolution, but I’m not sure if that will happen.
“Hangman” Adam Page was shown outside somewhere talking about the Texas Death Match with Jon Moxley. Page said that this match is all that he has left to lose. Page said that Moxley beat Evil Uno within an inch of his life last week (a bit much). Page said that Moxley can’t take his heart because he couldn’t carry it. Page talked about how he is going take Moxley’s spot at the top of the food chain. Hangman claimed that he didn’t enjoy violence, he hated it to its core and he said he’ll be bloodthirsty because that’s what he has to do. Hangman said in Texas Death you either live or you die and he ain’t dead yet. Hangman said that after Sunday, Moxley will never be the same.
Analysis: It was okay. Moxley’s promo was better. We could also hear the arena noise in the background, so it was tough to hear all of Page’s promo well. They need to fix the audio on a promo like that. I like the feud overall.
Let’s Hear from Christian Cage
Christian Cage was interviewed by Renee Paquette with the fans booing Christian for his entrance. Christian said for the last six months, he thought he was done with “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry. Christian said that Perry claimed he was going to win a singles title and Christian said that would only happen over his dead body because Christian is going to win a championship. The fans were booing and cheering loudly while Christian talked about how Jack hesitated to give him the Conchairto. Christian said he smashed his head repeatedly and left him in his own blood and piss. Christian claimed that Jack just wants to show mommy, his sister and his friends that he can win a championship. Christian said that his problem with Jack’s generation is that you treat this business like a video game. Christian said he is “one of one” while saying he treats this business like an ATM Machine and he is not done milking it dry. Christian challenged Jungle Boy for Revolution. Christian said no rules, no regulations – just a fight. Christian said if you show up, you are just your father’s son and just like your father (the late Luke Perry) you just have good looks and you don’t have what it takes. Christian claimed that Jack didn’t have an ounce of what Christian has inside.
The lights went out in the building (this company loves putting the lights out). They showed Jack Perry standing outside somewhere digging a grave. They showed highlights of Christian beating up Jack. There was a tombstone that said “Christian Cage” on it. Christian just walked away instead of replying to that.
Analysis: I liked that Christian Cage promo. He is a great talker, especially as a heel. Jungle Boy should win their match to put an end to that long rivalry since Christian missed a lot of time with an arm injury, so now they can finally have the blowoff match.
Jamie Hayter, the AEW Women’s Champion, and Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. were interviewed by Tony Schiavone. Baker said “you can look but you can’t touch” to Saraya regarding the title, which is a Bella Twins catchphrase. Anyway, they trash talked Saraya about a match later in the show and the Revolution match as well.
FTW Title: Hook vs. Matt Hardy (w/Ethan Page, Isiah Kassidy & Stokely Hathaway)
Big age difference here with Matt Hardy at 48 years old while Hook is 23 years old. Hardy got an elbow smash knockdown, but Hook grabbed a leg and went for a submission. They left the ring briefly with Hook sending Hardy into the barricade. Ethan shoved Hook into the ring post while the referee wasn’t looking. Matt hit a neckbreaker. Hook came back with a T-Bone suplex. Matt sent Hook into the top turnbuckle. Hook hit a clothesline. Hardy sent Hook into the turnbuckle leading to a Side Effect for two. They did a collision spot where their heads hit eachother. Hathaway took his fake cast off and hit Hook in the head with it. The referee never saw it. Matt covered Hook for just two. Hook clipped out of a Twist of Fate attempt and Hook applied the Red Rum on Hardy, who tapped out quickly. It went about four minutes.
Winner by submission: Hook
Analysis: **1/4 A lot of offense for Matt Hardy before Hook put him away with his finisher. I like how fast paced it was. The nearfall after the cast shot was good and made me think there might be a title change.
The win by Hook means he gets to have a match with Hathaway, so Stokely looked petrified.
House of Black was featured in a promo holding the Trios Tag Team Titles. Malakai Black said that these titles belong to The Elite, but on Sunday, they should know that they have already lost. House of Black put the titles down as Julia Hart said “see you at Revolution.”
Toni Storm entered for a match with Riho.
Analysis: Good job by AEW going to commercials during entrances. It’s better to do that and come back with the start of the match. I have been writing that for years watching this show.
Riho made her entrance for this match between former AEW Women’s Champions.
Toni Storm (w/Saraya) vs. Riho
Storm was aggressive with punches along with a shoulder tackle. Riho came back with a dropkick. Riho hit a jumping knee strike followed by a snap suplex for two. Saraya yelled at Riho, Storm with a knee to Riho and Riho came back with a takedown leading to a double stomp to the stomach for two. Riho with a submission, Storm got her foot on the bottom rope and Storm sent Riho to the apron. Storm hit a running hip attack knocking Riho out of the ring. Saraya hit a running knee to the face of Riho (the referee never saw it). Storm left the ring and sent Riho into the ring post. Jamie Hayter and Britt Baker made their way down to the ring. They went to a picture-in-picture break.
The match continued with Storm blocking a 619 attempt by the ropes, then Riho avoided a charging Storm, who went to the floor. Riho jumped off the top with a cross body block on Storm on the floor. Poor Storm had to stand on the floor doing nothing for five seconds waiting for that spot. Back in the ring, Riho did a double foot stomp and a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Storm managed to get some offense going including a running hip attack in the corner. Baker was on the apron, Storm lunged at her and Riho did a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! with her tiny body on Storm for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Riho
Analysis: **3/4 Just an average match with a weak finish. The distraction ending really didn’t look good and made Storm look foolish. Riho really isn’t used much like she was in the first year of AEW so having her beat Storm seems like a strange decision.
Post match, Toni Storm went after Britt Baker and I think Baker got the advantage, but the camera was on the others in the ring. Saraya was fighting with
Analysis: AEW loves booking post match brawling segments. This was just another one of those. When you do so many of them in the same show they lose their appeal.
Keith Lee and Dustin Rhodes delivered a backstage promo towards Swerve Strickland and the Mogul Affiliates. Dustin said this Friday on a live Rampage, you will find out that they don’t like playing games. Dustin said they are “Naturally Limitless” so I guess that’s their team name.
Casino Tag Team Royale
The winners of this match will be in the AEW Tag Team Title match at Revolution.
John Silver and Alex Reynolds were attacked by Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta, so they are the first teams. Taz mentioned the Blackpool Combat Club’s attitude because they are more heelish now. There was a picture-in-picture break.
There are no referees in the match. It’s a battle royal rules match. Rush & Preston Vance were the #3 team in the match. Vance ran over Reynolds with a shoulder tackle. Rush and Claudio got into a chop fest leading to Claudio hitting an uppercut. Lucha Brothers duo of Rey Fenix & Penta El Zero Miedo were #4 in the match with the fans popping for him. Fenix with a springboard cross body block, Penta with two Slingblades and both Lucha Bros delivered superkicks. Claudio with a pump kick on Fenix on the apron. Fenix avoided an elimination by holding onto the ropes. Lucha Bros held on to a avoid eliminations. Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher) were #5 to no reaction from the crowd, but they are talented guys. Davis and Fletcher with body slams, Fletcher hit a knee on Fenix and Yuta saved Claudio from an attack by Silver. Reynolds and Silver did some combo offense on Yuta, but Claudio saved Yuta from elimination. Claudio and Yuta pulled Silver & Reynolds over the top to the floor. Poor Dark Order. They went to a PIP break.
During the break, Jericho Appreciation Society’s Matt Menard & Angelo Parker were the #6 team in the match.
When the match returned, the #7 team was Top Flight’s Darius & Dante Martin. Top Flight did some combo moves on Yuta and Claudio. Top Flight tried a double clothesline on Claudio, but Claudio was on the apron so he was saved. Menard was eliminated by Dante Martin rather easily. It was quickly onto the #8 team, who was The Kingdom’s Mike Bennett & Matt Taven with Maria Kanellis-Bennett. Bennett hit a DVD on Darius and Taven followed with a knee strike. Taven hit an enziguri on Darius. Aussie Open each hit suplexes on Taven and Bennett. Tony Nese, Ari Daivari, Josh Woods & Smart Mark Sterling showed up to attack Lucha Brothers. Lucha Bros were tossed into objects on the floor and suplexed on the floor. Fenix and Penta were both eliminated although the director missed Fenix’s elimination. Vance was eliminated, then Rush was dropkicked by Darius and Rush was eliminated. Aussie Open and Top Flight exchanged punches. Dante tried a top rope move, but he was shoved out of the ring. Darius got dumped over the top to the floor by Fletcher. The #9 team was Danhausen and Orange Cassidy, who had his ribs taped up. The time intervals between entrants were not even close to even. Danhausen brought in Parker, who finally was in the ring. Parker punched Danhausen and Orange tossed Parker out. What a performance by Parker. The Butcher & The Blade were #10 with Excalibur trying to put them over as a dangerous team. Aussie Open and the Kingdom did a spot on the apron where The Kingdom accidentally kicked Maria (sort of). The Kingdom were eliminated and then Aussie Open were eliminated as well. Orange dumped Yuta out after Silver & Reynolds re-appeared at ringside. Orange did an Orange Punch to Claudio and Danhausen/Orange eliminated Claudio.
Butcher & Blade were left with Cassidy & Danhausen. Butcher & Blade hit a double team slam on Danhausen. Butcher hit a Stunner and Blade hit a clothesline on Cassidy. Orange avoided elimination. Butcher & Blade tried to eliminate Orange, but they couldn’t do it and Danhausen dumped Butcher & Blade out. The match went about 22 minutes.
Winners: Orange Cassidy & Danhausen
Analysis: **3/4 It was the second straight week with a tag team battle royale except this time it had teams enter at different intervals. I didn’t find it very exciting. The boss loves Orange and Danhausen, so I guess they needed to win. I miss FTR. That’s all.
Post match, Orange Cassidy and Danhausen were attacked by Jay Lethal & Jeff Jarrett. The Gunns were out there at ringside as well. The Acclaimed ran out there for the save leading to Jarrett & Lethal running away quickly while The Gunns left through the crowd.
Analysis: There’s another post match attack.
A video aired about the AEW World Championship match at Revolution with MJF defending the title against Bryan Danielson in a 60-Minute Ironman Match. The AEW talking heads spoke about the match.
Let’s Hear from Bryan Danielson
Bryan Danielson entered the ring for an in-ring interview with Renee Paquette. There were less than five minutes left in the show. Renee mentioned a post from MJF in 2014 talking about wanting to become a wrestler while referencing Danielson. Bryan spoke about retiring seven years ago, then five years ago Bryan came back and said to fight for you dreams.
MJF showed up with the AEW World Title around his waist. Bryan told MJF to shut up while reminding us why MJF hates Bryan for all the things that Bryan has in his life like respect as the best and a wonderful family. Bryan told MJF that he has done nothing to fight for that respect. Bryan told MJF what he deserves is his fiancée losing him. Bryan said pinning shoulders to mats and banging rats doesn’t sound like somebody he wants his daughter to marry. Bryan talked about how he was fighting his entire life from poverty to depression to
Bryan said that before he came here, he had a job that would have paid him for the rest of his life. Bryan said he came to AEW because he wanted to fight. Bryan said his new dream since he’s been there is to become AEW World Champion…and God dammit he’s willing to fight for it. Bryan told Max he better be ready to fight with everything he has for 60 full minutes and if you don’t then you are going to get your “f**king head kicked in.” The audio was all messed up for that “f bomb” just because they don’t want to air a swear word like that, I guess, and they probably knew it was coming. Anyway, Bryan’s music played to end it while MJF left.
Analysis: That was a terrific promo from Bryan Danielson showing a lot of fire and intensity as you would expect during the go-home edition of Dynamite. The “f bomb” at the end was a nice touch as well. MJF spoke nearly every week during this feud, so it was Bryan’s turn to talk about how he’s a fighter while MJF is a coward and the fans loved Bryan for it. With all that said, this is MJF’s first PPV title defense so I would be absolutely shocked if he lost at Revolution. MJF winning is the likely result.
Three Stars of the Show
- Powerhouse Hobbs
- Bryan Danielson
- Orange Cassidy
This Week: 7 out of 10
Last Week: 6.75
2023 Average: 7.58
I thought the Ladder Match was the best of the night with some crazy spots although there were also some risky moments. I’m not a fan of having referees hold ladders so the wrestlers can do spots. Don’t do the spots if you need the referee’s help or climb with a broken ladder. Get another ladder. Anyway, I’m glad Powerhouse Hobbs won that match since he has barely been used for the last five months. The Tag Team Casino Royale was too long and not that interesting.
This show felt like they set a wrestling record with post match attacks. Nearly every match had one. It loses its luster when you do it so often. The Elite’s story with House of Black has been lame. I’m sure the match at Revolution will be great, but a 30-second lights out attack is all they really got. Shave some time off the 20+ minute battle royal and maybe do more to make us care about that match.
There were some terrific promos from veteran wrestlers like Bryan Danielson in the main event spot, Christian Cage and a very bloody Jon Moxley from last week’s show that aired this week. Anyway, the Revolution card is pretty much set for Sunday.
The next AEW pay-per-view is Revolution on Sunday, March 5th.
* AEW World Championship 60-Minute Ironman Match: Maxwell Jacob Friedman (c) vs. Bryan Danielson
* Texas Death Match: Jon Moxley vs. “Hangman” Adam Page
* TNT Championship: Samoa Joe (c) vs. Wardlow
* Chris Jericho vs. Ricky Starks – Everyone is banned from ringside.
* AEW Trios Championships: The Elite (c) vs. House of Black
* Fatal 4-Way Match for the AEW Tag Team Championships: The Gunns (c) vs. The Acclaimed vs. Jeff Jarrett & Jay Lethal vs. Orange Cassidy & Danhausen
* AEW Women’s Championship: Jamie Hayter (c) vs. Saraya vs. Ruby Soho
* No Holds Barred Match: “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry vs. Christian Cage
That appears to be the full card.
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